Our mind is like our inbox – focus on the thoughts that matter

When we check our inbox, if we find any junk mails, we neglect them.

Our mind is like an inbox, wherein various stimuli come in, either from outer perception or inner recollection. And our thoughts are often random combinations of perception and recollection spiced liberally with imagination. Such random thoughts are like junk mails – they don’t merit our attention. Just as we focus on the mails that matter in our inbox, we need to focus on the thought that matter in our mind.

However, because the mind is inside us, we tend to identify the thoughts therein as our thoughts. Helping us decrease such identification, Gita wisdom explains that we exist above our thoughts – we are transcendental souls, eternal parts of the omnipotent supreme, Krishna. Our thoughts arise from the three modes of material nature (14.22-23). Instead of getting emotionally involved with our thoughts, we can evaluate them on merit. For such evaluation, the Gita’s spiritual knowledge functions like a junk thought detector.

We can filter junk thoughts by cultivating purposefulness. When we are focused on attending to some important mail, that focus helps us to neglect junk mails. Similarly, when we are focused on some important purpose, that focus helps us to neglect random thoughts.

Gita wisdom explains that the most empowering purpose is the spiritual purpose of loving service to the all-attractive supreme, Krishna. Why is this purpose most empowering? Because linking with him through service purifies us, thereby decreasing the presence or at least the power of random thoughts. When we serve him by practicing bhakti-yoga diligently (14.26) and redefine our life as service to him, our purposefulness, coupled with purification, equips us to filter junk thought efficiently.

Being thus empowered with spiritual knowledge and devotional purposefulness, we can focus on the thoughts that matter.

Think it over:

  1. Why are some of our thoughts like junk mails?
  2. How does spiritual knowledge function like a junk thought detector?
  3. How does devotional focus equip us to filter junk thoughts?

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  1. JAPA filters the thoughts to the inbox

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